Surgical management of rib fractures in chest wall trauma

Fabrizio Minervini, Peter B. Kestenholz, Pietro Bertoglio, Marco Scarci, Gregor J. Kocher

Abstract

Chest wall trauma along with resulting pulmonary complications are associated with considerable morbidity and mortality. Non-surgical treatment of rib fractures has represented the gold standard for the past few decades but a new trend towards operative management has been encouraged by many surgeons who aimed to reduce morbidity, mortality and hospital length of stay (LOS). Indications, patient selection and timing of surgical stabilization of rib fractures (SSRF) remains still debated and the results of international conducted surveys show a large variability in decision-making. In this article, we discuss the state of the art of surgical management of traumatic rib fractures.